The book of Revelation and the Egyptian Book of the Dead.

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
nightshadetwine
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Re: The book of Revelation and the Egyptian Book of the Dead.

Post by nightshadetwine » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:59 am

DCHindley wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:25 am
Personally I'm not so keen on the idea that Egyptian ideas influenced Plato as much as you suspect. In Athens they were probably aware of Egypt and may have seen some of the goods brought back by cargo ships and heard about their wild traditions, being so different than Hellenes were accustomed to. So, yes, some of this may have colored Hellenic myth making. Athenians could also have had their own traditions about afterlife that may have included punishment for the bad and rewards for the good. The Elysian plains are an example, although they apply to human or semi-divine Heroes of legend upon whom the gods had imparted immortality.
I don't know for sure if Egypt influenced Plato, I just think it's a possibility.
IMHO, though, Judeans did not seem to have much influence from Egyptian myths, although there was a strong regional rivalry between them, full of hot headed polemics.
We know Egyptian myths influenced the Hebrew religion. That's the scholarly consensus.

From "Ancient Egypt Investigated: 101 Important Questions and Intriguing Answers" by Thomas Schneider:
Ever since Egyptian texts became widely known in the second half of the nineteenth century, scholars began searching for ancient Egyptian parallels to biblical texts. At first, their goal was to confirm the scripture, while later it was to situate the Bible in the wider cultural context of the Near East. A significant Egyptian influence can be detected in genres and literary motifs of the Old Testament. Scholars also assume Egyptian influences on the Psalms, Ecclesiastes (Koheleth), the priestly creation story, and other texts. Often, however, these texts and motifs have been compared with the easily accessible (for modern readers) texts from the Egyptian New Kingdom, when what should actually be consulted is the literature of ancient Egypt’s later periods.

In the literature of Egypt’s Late Period (664–332 bce) we find clear parallels to motifs in the oft-cited Psalm 104, the Song of Songs, and the book of Job. Perhaps the best-known example can be seen in Proverbs 22.17–23.14, which borrows from the Instruction of Amenemope, a wisdom text in circulation at least as late as Dynasty 26—that is, the sixth century bce. The atmosphere and character of the Egyptian Late Period is clearly visible in the descriptions of the story of Joseph and Israel’s stay in Egypt, where there are also similar literary motifs, as, for example, the contest between Moses and Pharaoh’s magicians (Exodus 7) and the similar contest between Siosire and the Ethiopian magicians in the Demotic cycle of Setne- Khaemwese. In addition, the criticisms directed at kings in the books of Chronicles find parallels in Egyptian ‘apocalyptic’ works.

Numerous religious concepts also have Egyptian parallels: man as God’s image, the concept of God as shepherd, the weighing of the heart, the forming of men on a potter’s wheel, the discovery of sacred books in order to legitimize religious reform, and so forth. The Hebrew of the Old Testament also displays a certain Egyptian influence in the area of vocabulary and idioms: for instance, ‘face between his knees’ in the story of Elijah; the expression ‘standing and sitting’ in the sense of ‘comport oneself’; the term ‘way of life’; the comparison of the prophet Jeremiah with a ‘bronze wall’; ‘burning coals on the head’ as a metaphor for penitence; and the designation of God as ‘sun of righteousness.’ These literary and linguistic borrowings are part of a much wider cultural influence that Egypt had on Israel, as has been pointed out in recent decades by Othmar Keel.

In addition to textual borrowings, this influence is found in imagery as well, and is especially clear in the iconographic material from Palestine, in particular, representations on seals. One example of Egyptian influence is apparent in the solar symbolism of Yahweh belief in Israel and Judah during the eighth century bce, which incorporated the Egyptian sundisk and Uraeus serpents."
"The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt" by Richard H. Wilkinson:
The text alludes to the Heliopolitan creation account centered on the god Atum, but goes on to claim that the Memphite god Ptah preceded the sun god and that it was Ptah who created Atum and ultimately the other gods and all else 'through his heart and through his tongue'. The expression alludes to the conscious planning of creation and it's execution through rational thought and speech, and this story of creation ex nihilo as attributed to Ptah by the priests of Memphis is the earliest known example of the so-called 'logos' doctrine in whuch the world is formed through a god's creative speech...It lies before, and in line with, the philosophical concepts found in the Hebrew Bible where 'God said, let there be light, and there was light'(Genesis 1:3), and the Christian scriptures which state that 'In the beginning was the word[logos]...and the word was God...all things were made by him...'(John 1:1,3).
More to point, Russell's recent book, Plato and the Creation of the Hebrew Bible (Hardcover by Routledge, but available in Kindle edition, 2016). When I last looked at this book, Gmirkin was asking for US $40+ for the Kindle edition, which I thought was a bit excessive, so I did not buy it.
I've heard of this book but haven't checked it out yet.

klewis
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Re: The book of Revelation and the Egyptian Book of the Dead.

Post by klewis » Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:08 pm

The book of Revelation has as its foundations the Hebrew Scriptures. The difference is that Revelation quotes the Hebrew Scriptures using Hebrew Poetry or what I call Parallel Formation. For example, Revelation chapter 4 forms a chiasmus with Ezekiel chapter 1. Likewise Revelation 17 forms a simple parallel with Ezekiel 16:10-36.

The solar imagery is derived from Ezekiel and Isaiah.

In my book, How John Wrote the Book of Revelation: From Concept to Publication, I show how the book of Revelation was written, the order in which it was written, as well as a reconstruction of five distinct logical drafts in which it was written. The process is consistent, repeatable, and thus testable. As a result, the process excludes many theories and many interpretations.

Bernard Muller
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Re: The book of Revelation and the Egyptian Book of the Dead.

Post by Bernard Muller » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:17 pm

I did considerable research on the canonical Revelation here: http://historical-jesus.info/rjohn.html.
I concluded it was a strictly Jewish text written around 70-71, with was added on by Christians around 90-95.
Sure the Jewish text draws heavily from the OT, that's a given. But I was not interested by that.
Here is what I put in the introduction (it's better presented on the aforementioned web page):
From The Catholic Encyclopedia "... the theory advanced by the German scholar Vischer. He holds the Apocalypse to have been originally a purely Jewish composition, and to have been changed into a Christian work by the insertion of those sections that deal with Christian subjects. From a doctrinal point of view, we think, it cannot be objected to. There are other instances where inspired writers have availed themselves of non-canonical literature. Intrinsically considered it is not improbable. The Apocalypse abounds in passages which bear no specific Christian character but, on the contrary, show a decidedly Jewish complexion."

From The Jewish Encyclopedia, an article by Crawford Howell Toy (Christian scholar, D.D., LL.D.) and Kaufmann Kohler (Ph.D.):
"The last book in the New Testament canon, yet in fact one of the oldest; probably the only Judæo-Christian work which has survived the Paulinian transformation of the Church. The introductory verse betrays the complicated character of the whole work. It presents the book as a "Revelation which God gave . . . to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass," and at the same time as a revelation of Jesus Christ to "his servant John." According to recent investigations, the latter part was interpolated by the compiler, who worked the two sections of the book, the main apocalypse (ch. iv.-xxi. 6) and the letters to the "seven churches" (i.-iii. and close of xxii.) into one so as to make the whole appear as emanating from John, the seer of the isle of Patmos in Asia Minor (see i. 9, xxii. 8), known otherwise as John the Presbyter. The anti-Paulinian character of the letters to the seven churches and the anti-Roman character of the apocalyptic section have been a source of great embarrassment, especially to Protestant theologians, ever since the days of Luther; but the apocalypse has become especially important to Jewish students since it has been discovered by Vischer (see bibliography) that the main apocalypse actually belongs to Jewish apocalyptic literature."

Mostly in agreement with the above, first, I'll provide a short synopsis (an outline of my conclusions) and then some evidence about the authorship. Next, I'll proceed to my reconstruction of the original non-Christian/Jewish text (about 288 verses), by carefully extracting it out from the later canonical one (399 verses), christianized through additions within the earlier text. Here, with inserted comments all along, the points previously postulated will make a lot of sense (I hope you'll agree, as some of my previous readers did: see here).
My main goal will be to demonstrate that many parts of 'Revelation' could not have been written by a Christian. However, I do not claim to be exact about my verse by verse rendition of the original version (but I am confident to be correct for most of it).
I want to add there is lot more Christian stuff other than only the letters to the seven churches.

I also want to say my two web pages on Revelation (the 2nd one is the Jewish version without comments: http://historical-jesus.info/rjohnx.html) are, of all my web pages, by far the most read (according to my data analytics).

Cordially, Bernard
I believe freedom of expression should not be curtailed

klewis
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Re: The book of Revelation and the Egyptian Book of the Dead.

Post by klewis » Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:41 am

I can say with absolute certainty, that the book of Revelation was Christian from the start. (see http://www.revelationdrafthypothesis.in ... Hypothesis, https://play.google.com/books/reader?id ... pg=GBS.PA1 for the Google book preview, https://www.amazon.com/How-John-Wrote-B ... way&sr=8-1 for the Kindle version.).

The book details the process line by line for over 300 pages.

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Jax
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Re: The book of Revelation and the Egyptian Book of the Dead.

Post by Jax » Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:11 pm

Bernard Muller wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:17 pm
I did considerable research on the canonical Revelation here: http://historical-jesus.info/rjohn.html.
I concluded it was a strictly Jewish text written around 70-71, with was added on by Christians around 90-95.
Sure the Jewish text draws heavily from the OT, that's a given. But I was not interested by that.
Here is what I put in the introduction (it's better presented on the aforementioned web page):
From The Catholic Encyclopedia "... the theory advanced by the German scholar Vischer. He holds the Apocalypse to have been originally a purely Jewish composition, and to have been changed into a Christian work by the insertion of those sections that deal with Christian subjects. From a doctrinal point of view, we think, it cannot be objected to. There are other instances where inspired writers have availed themselves of non-canonical literature. Intrinsically considered it is not improbable. The Apocalypse abounds in passages which bear no specific Christian character but, on the contrary, show a decidedly Jewish complexion."

From The Jewish Encyclopedia, an article by Crawford Howell Toy (Christian scholar, D.D., LL.D.) and Kaufmann Kohler (Ph.D.):
"The last book in the New Testament canon, yet in fact one of the oldest; probably the only Judæo-Christian work which has survived the Paulinian transformation of the Church. The introductory verse betrays the complicated character of the whole work. It presents the book as a "Revelation which God gave . . . to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass," and at the same time as a revelation of Jesus Christ to "his servant John." According to recent investigations, the latter part was interpolated by the compiler, who worked the two sections of the book, the main apocalypse (ch. iv.-xxi. 6) and the letters to the "seven churches" (i.-iii. and close of xxii.) into one so as to make the whole appear as emanating from John, the seer of the isle of Patmos in Asia Minor (see i. 9, xxii. 8), known otherwise as John the Presbyter. The anti-Paulinian character of the letters to the seven churches and the anti-Roman character of the apocalyptic section have been a source of great embarrassment, especially to Protestant theologians, ever since the days of Luther; but the apocalypse has become especially important to Jewish students since it has been discovered by Vischer (see bibliography) that the main apocalypse actually belongs to Jewish apocalyptic literature."

Mostly in agreement with the above, first, I'll provide a short synopsis (an outline of my conclusions) and then some evidence about the authorship. Next, I'll proceed to my reconstruction of the original non-Christian/Jewish text (about 288 verses), by carefully extracting it out from the later canonical one (399 verses), christianized through additions within the earlier text. Here, with inserted comments all along, the points previously postulated will make a lot of sense (I hope you'll agree, as some of my previous readers did: see here).
My main goal will be to demonstrate that many parts of 'Revelation' could not have been written by a Christian. However, I do not claim to be exact about my verse by verse rendition of the original version (but I am confident to be correct for most of it).
I want to add there is lot more Christian stuff other than only the letters to the seven churches.

I also want to say my two web pages on Revelation (the 2nd one is the Jewish version without comments: http://historical-jesus.info/rjohnx.html) are, of all my web pages, by far the most read (according to my data analytics).

Cordially, Bernard
Any testimonials? :roll:

Bernard Muller
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Re: The book of Revelation and the Egyptian Book of the Dead.

Post by Bernard Muller » Tue Apr 16, 2019 6:44 pm

to klevis,
klewis wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:41 am
I can say with absolute certainty, that the book of Revelation was Christian from the start. (see http://www.revelationdrafthypothesis.in ... Hypothesis, https://play.google.com/books/reader?id ... pg=GBS.PA1 for the Google book preview, https://www.amazon.com/How-John-Wrote-B ... way&sr=8-1 for the Kindle version.).

The book details the process line by line for over 300 pages.
In that case, you are wrong. Try to read my web page to know why. That web page is free of charge by the way. In it I demonstrated "many parts of 'Revelation' could not have been written by a Christian". Period.

BTW, I did read the web pages you linked. Sound awfully complicated. All these drafts? Why would the author go into that complexity? that's beyond my understanding.

Cordially, Bernard
I believe freedom of expression should not be curtailed

Bernard Muller
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Re: The book of Revelation and the Egyptian Book of the Dead.

Post by Bernard Muller » Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:15 pm

to Jax,
Any testimonials? :roll:
Here are some of the comments I got from my readers on my work on Daniel & Revelation (from http://historical-jesus.info/danrv.html):
* "I think the thrust of your reconstruction of both Jesus & the book of Revelation is on target"
* "Your web page is very informative! The reading of Revelation without the Christian additions is suddenly very clear. My dad and I are very excited by your research"
* "Daniel and Revelation: Really enjoyed reading your material. ... Thank you again, for the clear scholarly presentation. So many times I truthfully have no idea what the authors are attempting to say. My humbly opinion being "they" use words that they themselves understand to be quoted as if.... From the tower or perhaps from God or at least a demigod.... The goal of educating not only clergy but all who may seek wisdom. ... You are accomplishing on your Internet pages."
* "I think ALSO that you have the makings of a scholarly site"
* "I've just been reading your excellent site, particularly your piece on Daniel, which explains the "prophecies" most clearly. It is very well argued."
* "Your intellectual honesty is striking. A quality that is rare nowadays. Most of the time writers have a conclusion in mind and argue their way to lead the reader to see things the way they do."
* "Just wanted to thank you for your work. I've been trying to make sense of Revelation for years and never did know where to start. You have single handedly cleared it up for me. Fascinating research."
* "Reading your site was so helpful and positive/constructive. You put a LOT more hours and research into it than our former leader did! Those guys make it sound like the "antichrist" is their uncle or something and we'll all get embedded with "666". Thanks for unraveling this stuff."
* "... great work, keep it up. I love your site."
* "... I also applaud your remarks concerning Revelation and the book of Daniel, ..."
Cordially, Bernard
I believe freedom of expression should not be curtailed

klewis
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Re: The book of Revelation and the Egyptian Book of the Dead.

Post by klewis » Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:11 am

Bernard Muller wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 6:44 pm
to klevis,
klewis wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:41 am
I can say with absolute certainty, that the book of Revelation was Christian from the start. (see http://www.revelationdrafthypothesis.in ... Hypothesis, https://play.google.com/books/reader?id ... pg=GBS.PA1 for the Google book preview, https://www.amazon.com/How-John-Wrote-B ... way&sr=8-1 for the Kindle version.).

The book details the process line by line for over 300 pages.
In that case, you are wrong. Try to read my web page to know why. That web page is free of charge by the way. In it I demonstrated "many parts of 'Revelation' could not have been written by a Christian". Period.

BTW, I did read the web pages you linked. Sound awfully complicated. All these drafts? Why would the author go into that complexity? that's beyond my understanding.

Cordially, Bernard
I have looked through the site. I would like to know how you came up with the "original text". It appears to me that you removed all of the Jesus texts from Revelation and ran with it.

There are many problems with this approach and I will go into just a few.
Isaiah and Ezekiel are core sources in the text you derived. The way they are used and the way they are shared show that they were used in the development of Revelation. We see this in how the texts are blended together and how they are used side by side:
  • The throne of God in Revelation 4:1-11 is a blending of Ezekiel chapter 1 (backwards) and Isaiah 6:1-8. Note
  • The passage of Gog and Maggog (Rev 20:8-9) is a conflation of Ezek 382, 14-20 and Isaiah 29:6-8
  • John has two visions of heaven descending, the first one you list (Rev 21:1-8) is from Isaiah 25:8; 42:9; 44:3-6; 55:1; 66:19; 66:17-18. The second one is from Ezekiel 40:3, 5; 43:7-11; 48:7-34
With this knowledge there are lots of texts that John uses from Isaiah that you do not have in your source document. These should be in them at least and gives us evidence far beyond your studies.

First, there is how the author uses Isaiah to depict Jesus:
  • Revelation 12:1-2 is derived from Isaiah 7:14-16
  • Revelation 12:4-5 is derived from Isaiah 8:4 and 9:6
The Isaiah 7:14-16; 8:4; and 9:6 verses were used early on as descriptions of Jesus and you have the verses in your source document.

Second you do not have the churches in your "original texts." This is surprising because the churches may be Gentile but the content is Jewish. Much of the material is derived from Isaiah.
  • The Church of Philadelphia (Rev 3:1-12) is derived from Isaiah 22:21-25
  • The Church of Smyrna (Rev 2:8-10) is derived from Isaiah 10:1-4, 20 as Hebrew Parallel formation
  • The Church of Laodicea (Rev 3:17-20) uses Isaiah 323:18 as its source
How the author uses Zechariah is both telling and it is intentional inclusion of Jesus. Revelation uses Zechariah 1:1 to 12:10 backwards. The whom they have pierced (Zech 12:10) is found in Rev 1:9.

You have the seven seals and the seven trumpets, which is the story of Joshua. However, the author goes out of his way to use the synonym of the Lamb for Joshua. The reason is that Joshua and Jesus are the same name in Greek and Hebrew. This is evidence that the author did not want his readers to know that the source of his descriptions of Jesus was from the book of Joshua.

Sorry, that I cannot go into this much more. I am interested in how your source document was derived? The vast majority of the underlying texts of Revelation is from the Hebrew Scriptures and the book of Enoch.

Thanks for the read. I enjoy looking at different theories as to the construction of Revelation.

Bernard Muller
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Re: The book of Revelation and the Egyptian Book of the Dead.

Post by Bernard Muller » Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:50 am

to klewis,
I have looked through the site. I would like to know how you came up with the "original text". It appears to me that you removed all of the Jesus texts from Revelation and ran with it.
What did you read: http://historical-jesus.info/rjohn.html (where I explained & commented as Christian additions passages or verses or phrases or even a few words? And where I explained & commented as strictly Jewish passages or verses or phrases, because not possibly written by a Christian)?
or did you read only http://historical-jesus.info/rjohnx.html (where I reconstructed the Jewish version without the disruptive (but according to) comments & explanations of my aforementioned web page?
And there is more than the "Jesus text" that I demonstrated to be Christian additions.
And the Jewish version is very readable, avoiding the mess & conflicts created by the Christian additions.

For the Christians additions being inspired by the OT, I have no objection for that. Early Christian writers were doing that also. More so because I think that most of these additions were made by the same author (who wrote earlier the Jewish original version), after he became a Christian.

Cordially, Bernard
I believe freedom of expression should not be curtailed

klewis
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Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:39 am

Re: The book of Revelation and the Egyptian Book of the Dead.

Post by klewis » Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:19 pm

Yes, I have read both of those web pages. The foundation of what you said in your post and what you say in the web pages hinges around the concept that the text is Jewish and therefore we can throw out the Christian elements. The problem with the approach is that at the time of John's writing there were many Christian who were converted Jews. Luke-Acts is written the exact same way, Jewish poetry throughout, and I am aware of no one who think that originally it was a non-Christian document that was converted to Christian document. Matthew likewise, uses Hebrew poetry throughout and yet are you saying that Matthew was originally not a Christian document.

I have also pointed out many sections that are Jewish but you have excluded it in your derived source document. The seven churches for example is filled with Jewish imagery, derived from Hebrew Scriptures and with the stroke of the pin you excluded them from the source you view as proof.

The process that I have used in my book is the same techniques that I have used in my article on "The Composing of Genesis-Exodus". It is demonstrable, repeatable, and testable. The best part is that the person repeating the experiment needs to only know a few Hebrew Poetry concepts.

Have you ever wrote a book, let me tell you, I don't know of any author that writes a book of any length without going through many drafts. Many authors would have a hard time explaining the process of writing their own work. For example the book that I wrote was not the book that I started to write, it became a product of my findings from it though.

Also, just because I charge $2.00 for my book in an e-Book format does not mean that it is of less value than something that is free. It does not mean that it is more valuable or true than a free book either. I have spent 8 years of my life combing through every aspect on Revelation. Charging money for it should not be counted against it as a negative.

Others have found it valuable, for example Robert M. Price wrote a review on it saying (see https://www.amazon.com/How-John-Wrote-B ... way&sr=8-1):
Kim Mark Lewis’s book How John Wrote the Book of Revelation: From Concept to Publication is itself a revelation! How nobody else ever came up with this I don’t know. It seems so obvious once he points it out! The author frames a new approach, a new methodology, enabling us to discern distinct stages of composition in the Apocalypse of John. Sure, the late, great Raymond E. Brown outlined a series of stages in the composition of John’s Gospel, but that’s not what’s new and compelling here. Essentially it’s this: All careful readers know that Revelation is not simply an eyewitness account of a series of mind-blasting visions. That is a fictive premise. That doesn’t mean it’s some kind of fraud; that’s just part of the literary genre of an apocalypse, of which there are many, both ancient (e.g., Daniel, 4 Ezra, the Apocalypse of Peter) and modern (e.g., Dante’s Divine Comedy and Dickens’s A Christmas Carol). Revelation is instead a fantastically elaborate tapestry woven with threads borrowed from many biblical books, especially Ezekiel, Zechariah, and Daniel. Yes, that quickly becomes evident to the serious reader. What Kim has done is to distinguish broken patterns in the text. That is, he zeroes in on all the allusions/quotations from any single Old Testament source text and is able to show how these verses look as if they were used by the author to create, e.g., a chiasm, a ABC-C’B’A’ pattern, an initial sequence of words and ideas counting down, then counting back up again. (This is a common stylistic device in the New Testament.) But it only works in Revelation once you isolate the relevant verses. And the fact that it does work implies it is no coincidence, and that the intervening material must have been a subsequent addition by the same author, expanding his book. He was willing to sacrifice his original structural flourishes to accommodate new Old Testament material appropriate to the context. This material, too, may have been laid out in new patterns. In a still subsequent stage of revision, the author will have again felt free to obscure his previous structures in favor of the intended content.

This would have been much easier if John of Patmos had had access to a computer! But he didn’t. He couldn’t even have flipped back and forth between Old Testament passages to compare them, since there weren’t yet bound collections of biblical books like our modern Bibles. So how on earth did he manage it? Lewis explains how ancient writers often employed reusable wax writing tablets, placing them side by side. These would have contained earlier drafts of Revelation, simplifying his redactional task.

The technique Lewis sets forth enables us not only to track the progress of the Revelator’s work; by doing so, he is also able to demonstrate the evolution of major themes in the book. We do this all the time in redaction criticism of the gospels, comparing Mark’s text with Matthew’s and Luke’s rewrites of it. In this way, e.g., we can trace the progress of Christology from one gospel to another. Lewis enables us to make such comparisons between editions of a single work by a single author. The analytical tool he has fashioned in this book may prove to be of great value in reconstructing the composition history of other biblical writings as well. I can’t wait to see the results of that!

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